Apart from being the month during which the clocks go back an hour, October is an important month health-wise for many, as awareness of a number of different health conditions and issues is being promoted nationally and internationally. To name just a few examples, during October the following campaigns will be happening:
Getting involved with campaigns like the ones mentioned above, and working with local people and organisations is very important to Healthwatch Wandsworth.
Throughout the summer we've been very active in the community, holding stalls at events like Youth Momentum 2 organized by Wandsworth's Youth Council (more about that below), the Feel Good Festival in Roehampton, the Wandle Road Show and the South Thames College Freshers' Fair.
This year we've also been involved with The Challengeprogrammeand had the opportunity to work with some of the local young people in our community.
As you can see, without you our work wouldn't be possible. Regular feedback from local people, about local services, is absolutely essential to the work that Healthwatch carries out, and we hope to hear from you a lot more in the future.
A new, regular feature of our ebulletin will be a question and answer section called Dear H which our Information & Signposting Officer will use to answer your questions about local health and social care services. We hope that you'll take full advantage of this new feature - please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send them to us by post:
Information & Signposting
3rd floor Trident Business Centre
89 Bickersteth Road
London, SW17 9SH
We hope you enjoy reading this issue of the e-bulletin!
The Healthwatch Wandsworth Team
JOIN THE PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT NETWORK
Involving patients and the public in health and social education and research is essential if services are to reflect their needs and preferences. Based at St George’s, University of London, The Centre for Public Engagement was established in 2013 and aims to ensure that the public are involved in the development of health and social care courses, as well as research.
You can get involved in shaping the health and social care workforce of the future by joining their Public Engagement Network (PEN). This is a database of people who are interested in being involved in various aspects of the design and delivery of health and social care education and/or research.
Or join up via their website which also includes more detailed information about the practicalities of getting involved, including information on payment and reimbursement.
If you would like to join up via telephone, want a chat to find more about the work of the Centre or are simply having difficulties with the online form, then please contact Holly by emailing H.Elson@sgul.kingston.ac.uk, or telephone 0208 266 6431.
MEET ONE OF OUR VOLUNTEERS
Clive Norris, Enter & View Team
Clive is a former senior civil servant, with a background in finance, planning and personnel. He volunteered for the Enter and View team because he wanted to do something to help maintain and improve the quality of health and social care, especially at a time when resources are under growing pressure.
He brings to the role previous experience as a lay visitor to local prisons, his skills as a manager and analyst, along with a particular interest in ageing and the elderly.
Clive's long-term ambition is to help drive up standards of care, and to learn from the conversations which he will be having with patients and other service users, family, friends and staff.
WHAT'S NEW AT HEALTHWATCH WANDSWORTH? New Volunteers
We'd like to welcome Linda Dell'Avvocato, Caroline Norrie and Oretta Norris to the Healthwatch Wandsworth volunteer workforce!
Linda has years of experience working with young children, and will be attending and reporting back from the Children's Health Overview & Clinical Reference Group on our behalf.
Caroline is a researcher with the Kings Fund, who has a particular interest in social care and she will be volunteering with our Enter & View team.
Oretta has been designing and delivering social media training on a freelance basis, and will be working with us to help develop our Communications Strategy.
We're really looking forward to getting to know them, working with them and benefiting from their experience.
Upcoming Consultations Over the next few months, we'll be starting up some conversations with local people on various topical health and social care related matters.
For example, we've recently been looking at prison healthcare and we'll be talking to some of the inmates at our local prison regarding their top three health and social care issues/concerns.
We'll also be consulting with locals on the Suicide Prevention Strategy which is in its final stages, and is designed to help the vulnerable in our community, especially those living in more deprived areas. The strategy should be available by the end of 2015.
Finally, we'll be looking at the Health Visiting Service which provides support and advice to children under 5 years of age living in Wandsworth and their families, and to children with special needs (up to 16 years of age).
More information regarding the focus of these consultations will be posted on our website over the next few weeks. And updates on the results and what we do with our findings will be included in our next ebulletin.
You Said, We Did Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the results of the work of organisations like ours. In view of this, every other quarter we've decided to bring you an update on the positive changes to service provision that have come about as a direct result of the feedback we get from you.
The first of these updates went out in August 2015 and included details of our work with people with learning disabilities and their involvement with the Care Needs Assessment; information on the presentation re St George's hospital's finances given at our last Assembly; our plans to include extra care facilities in our Enter & View visits as suggested by you; and the feedback we've passed to the commissioners of young people's services regarding school/local counselling services.
The Challenge 2015 One of Healthwatch Wandsworth's strategic goals for 2015 was to enhance its involvement and engagement with local young people and to create and promote opportunities to work with them. So when the National Citizens Service contacted us to ask if we would work in partnership with them on The Challenge 2015 programme, we welcomed the opportunity.
The Challenge is a government-backed scheme, open to Year 11 and 12 students that helps them to build skills for work, life and the transition to adulthood. Part of our work with NCS involved helping 13 young people aged between 15-17 to get involved in a social action campaign, which they had to plan and carry out. After meeting with them and having a chat about the various possibilities, we decided to carry out a consultation on the fast food vs healthy eating options available to young people.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Battersea, our willing volunteers set up a stand outside Asda and asked as many passersby as possible to complete a brief survey about their views on fast food and the healthy alternatives that are available locally.
So far, over 150 responses have been collected and these will be submitted to Public Health and the Wandsworth Children’s Health Overview and Clinical Reference Group to help inform any future decisions about the kinds of fast food restaurants opened in the borough.
We'll be keeping a close eye on the developments as they happen.
Participants in The Challenge 2015 programme, armed with surveys and free giveaways
It's always nice to see a smiley face!
Youth Momentum 2 Healthwatch Wandsworth had the opportunity to attend the "Youth Momentum 2” conference on the 3rd July. The conference was attended by 180 young people and representatives from various agencies. One of the topics discussed at the conference was young people's mental health issues, which also happened to be the topic of a consultation we carried out at the event.
We encouraged participants to answer four main questions on ourquestionnaire, that were designed to give us a better understanding of the kind of mental health support that young people would be willing to access, as well as help inform the decisions that will be taken by the commissioners of mental health services for young people. A total of 42 young people completed the questionnaire on the day.
We were impressed by the clear views expressed by the young people we spoke to regarding the need for open discussion of mental health issues in schools and to make young people feel less ashamed to seek help. Participants also said that mental health information and support should be made easily accessible to young people.
We will share our findings with the commissioners and providers of these essential services and will monitor what happens going forward.
Healthwatch Wandsworth Assembly Our Assembly meeting was held on Friday the 25th of September, at the Wilditch Community Centre in Battersea.
Our agenda focused on the effectiveness of Patient Practice Groups and speakers from Wandsworth CCG, the Centre for Public Involvement and NHS England led the discussion, which was followed by questions & answers.
Our next Assembly will take place in mid December, so look out for further information nearer the time.
Healthwatch Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Forum Our Voluntary Sector Forum was held directly after the Assembly and the agenda focused on the current implementation of the Mental Health Joint Commissioning plan and the changes that will need to be made to it in future.
Mark Robertson from Wandsworth CCG gave an informative presentation on the plan, followed by questions and answers. His presentation is also available on our website: Mental Health Joint Commissioning Plan - Presentation
If you did not have the opportunity to ask your questions, or if you have comments on any of the proposals discussed at either the Assembly or the Voluntary Sector Forum, please email us email@example.com.
IN AND AROUND WANDSWORTH
CASS Women's Self Injury Helpline CASS (Confidential, Anonymous, Self Injury, Support) is a UK-wide, independent, confidential and anonymous service run by women, for women, that will support anyone who wants to talk about self-harm or self-injury.
They offer non-judgemental, emotional support and a listening ear to women affected by self injury and those who care about them. They can also signpost to other relevant services and send out self help information where requested.
CASS recently expanded its operating hours and is now available on:
Monday to Friday, between 7 - 10pm
Thursday, between 3 - 6pm
To contact CASS call 0808 800 8088, or see the attached flyer for more information.
Care Quality Commission (CQC) The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and care services in England. They register, monitor and inspect services to make sure that safe, effective, compassionate, high quality care and services are provided, and they encourage service providers to improve.
The CQC wants to hear about your experiences of health and social care. Your experiences will help them to understand what is working well and which social and health care services in your area might need to be improved.
Become a Researcher for Healthwatch Wandsworth Our Researchers are local people who are interested in the quality of health and social care services available in their area, and are committed to helping Healthwatch Wandsworth in their quest to improve these services for local residents.
As a Healthwatch Researcher you would undertake some of the following tasks:
Research and reading into specialist areas relevant to the work of Healthwatch and our local people (using this to help inform Healthwatch)
Accompany Healthwatch staff on outreach visits and assist them to gather the views of local people
Tap into community networks to canvas views and opinions using surveys, feedback forms, focus groups and questionnaires
Read through consultation documents and/or council papers and prepare briefings for Healthwatch members
Share any information, learning, ideas or feedback gathered with Healthwatch staff and representatives
Identify barriers in accessing services and gaps in service provision - feedback to Healthwatch staff and representatives
If you’re interested in becoming a Healthwatch Researcher, please contact Ambra Caruso, Healthwatch Wandsworth Manager, on 020 8516 7785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE LAST WORD…
We can’t fit everything we’ve done over the last couple of months into one newsletter, so if you’d like to see what else we’ve been up to, check out the ‘News’ and ‘Our Work’ sections of our website.
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